Clint Dempsey 'absolutely back' after ailment - Sounders' Brian Schmetzer
Clint Dempsey "is absolutely back" after being sidelined by an irregular heartbeat, Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer has said.
U.S. forward Dempsey scored his first goal in four games for the Sounders in Sunday's 3-0 win at the LA Galaxy, his first strike since scoring four times for the national team in a pair of World Cup qualifiers last month.
The heart ailment caused Dempsey to miss the second half of the 2016 MLS season, but Schmetzer said the 34-year-old was back to peak form.
"Absolutely," Schmetzer said. "I mean I really hope. That chance he had in the second half, he had some half-chances, he's played well with the national team. Yes, he is absolutely back. And we're very pleased to have him back."
Dempsey also provided an assist, setting up Jordan Morris, who said it was good to get back in sync with Dempsey as well as with fellow attackers Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin, the latter of whom got his first start of the season.
"We're all getting that chemistry back together," Morris said. "Obviously you saw he [Dempsey] set me up perfectly on the goal and scored his own.
"I think the four of us up front is still a work in progress, but today was a good example of what we're capable of."
The Sounders' win was only their second of the season and their first since March 19 -- also the last time Dempsey and Morris scored -- but Schmetzer was optimistic about the team coming together.
"When you have players that are very good, it gives you a good chance of coming up with performances like this," he said.
"I'm just proud of the team, proud of Stefan [Frei] doing his part. It's part of [assistant coach Gonzalo Peneda]'s thing -- we start our possession from the back. All around, it was a good team performance."
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